Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Origins of Life
Gordon Research Conference

The Prebiotic Milieu Building the Evolution of Early Life


January 14-19, 2018


Hotel Galvez
Galveston, TX Site Information


Matthew A. Pasek

Vice Chair:
Nicolle E B. Zellner

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by December 17, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

The study of the origin of life occurs at an intersection of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, astronomy, and other fields. Conversations between these fields yield new insight and correct biases that are often invisible to individuals operating within a single discipline. This forthcoming Gordon Research Conference will explore new work in the origins field from planetary sciences to biochemistry and paleontology, covering the first billion years of the earth’s history. The sessions will provide a state-of-the-art update of the field, while also providing room for discussion and debate on some of the larger outstanding questions in our understanding of the origin of life. Sessions will attempt to provide the basic constraints on the starting material for the origin of life, and how the first biological material arose: the transition point from prebiotic chemistry to biochemistry. It will also cover habitable worlds and the search for life elsewhere, the innovation that comes from origins research, environments amenable to polymer formation, and the role of minerals in prebiotic chemistry.

The GRC will integrate with the preceding GRS (Gordon Research Seminar) both by asking the latter to report on exciting research forthcoming from new researchers, and by promoting active discussion to the conference. Funding is being sought to allow partial travel and registration support for both the GRC and the GRS for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists who participate as presenters in the Gordon Research Seminar.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Origins of Life" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Gordon Research Conferences

Session Titles

The Conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The Conference Chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by July 1, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Meteorites in the Origin of Life
  • Prebiotic Environments
  • Prebiotic Assembly
  • Phosphorus in the Origin of Life
  • Assembly at the Transition of Prebiotic Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Early Evolution
  • Habitable Worlds
  • Growing the Origins Research Field
  • Selected Poster Presentations / Young Investigator Presentations
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